Tonawanda News

Columns

April 21, 2013

DUVALL: As Bartlet said, 'they weren't born like this'

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — The reality is people who love people and value the ties they have to their community do not become terrorists. Only people who cannot form those fundamental connections — or believe they have formed them with people who prefer chaos to the societal order — can consider terrorism on this scale an option.

Here’s the most disturbing thing about the biographies we’ve all come to know about these two young men: It appeared as though they had done exactly this. They emigrated to this country and assimilated. When their father moved back to Russia, they stayed behind. They had friends, made ties in the community, were not by any stretch destitute. 

That’s why I’m so glad Tsarnaev is alive to face important questions about where it all went awry. 

Not only was he not born this way, nothing in his outward appearance implied he had become this way. How does someone go from a prom-attending, popular high school athlete to the most wanted terrorist in America in less than two years?

When we conjure up the image of a terrorist we see a bearded, middle aged man in Islamic garb sitting cross-legged and talking into a camera about his desire to bring death to America.

We don’t picture a smiling, handsome teenager with floppy hair wearing a tuxedo with a red carnation boutonniere pinned to the lapel about to go to the prom.

No terrorist’s actions make sense but these actions make far less sense than most.

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact him at eric.duvall@tonawanda-news.com.

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